Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Roy has photographed for many prominent architectural and interior design firms. Prior to establishing his photography business, Roy studied Photographic Arts at Ryerson University in Toronto. Since then he has gained over 25 years of experience delivering outstanding images for his clients. He takes on his assignments with energy and tenacity, planning in meticulous fashion, and executing his skills with uncompromising attention to detail. Roy’s work has appeared in network television commercials, and international magazines and has helped earn his clients numerous design awards. His client list includes many of the most respected design firms, construction companies, engineers, and resource corporations in the country.
When did you decide to become a pro photographer?
I decided to become a photographer while in high school. I was the chief photographer for the school yearbook and thoroughly enjoyed it.
How long did it take you to start to get clients and what was your main form of getting clients?
I took over a photography business started by my brother who decided to return to university to pursue a career in architecture. Consequently, I already had a small client base to begin with. Getting new clients required a lot of phone calls, interviews and sending out promotional pieces to prospective clients.
Is it necessary to go to school to learn photography to become a pro
At the time I started my career in photography it was more common to go to an accredited school, although a small minority of photographers were either self-taught or worked as assistants before venturing on their own. Today, it’s possible to teach yourself through various tutorials on the internet and you can learn far more now in a shorter period of time.
How important is it to know about business and everything that pertains to a business to be successful as a pro photographer?
Having a good business sense, understanding cash flow, and keeping expenses in line with revenue is essential for running any business. These points were often neglected when I went to school, although they’ve since been adopted into the curriculum today. It’s also very important to be personable and maintain a sense of professionalism in all you do. Keeping appointments, and deadlines, and corresponding promptly when clients contact you should not be overlooked either. Integrity and character build trust and faith with your clients.
Why did you decide to go into Architectural Photography?
I ventured into architectural photography because this was the foundation on which my brother started his business. I should mention that I’ve been in business 36 years now. Most of those years were spent shooting architecture and interior design, however, I had a 12 year interlude of photographing stock when stock photography was in its heyday. It was very lucrative in the 1990’s but with the advent of computers, internet and digital photographing EVERYTHING changed, mostly for the better.
What advice would you give an aspiring photographer that wants to be a pro.
Anyone wishing to pursue a career in photography should study as much as possible. Whether that’s through the internet, or taking lessons in a classroom where you’re able to meet other like-minded individuals who share the same passion is critical. The advantage of taking classes is in making contacts and developing friendships which can lead to work. It’s also extremely beneficial if you’re able to work alongside a professional for the benefit of gaining experience in the field. Some photographers will offer an exchange of time for the experience or pay a minimum wage while you’re learning the ropes. There’s nothing more valuable in this business, as in most than working with a seasoned pro. The experience is priceless.
802-9th Street N.E.